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Israel: Global NATO's 29th Member

By       Message Rick Rozoff       (Page 6 of 11 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.     Permalink    (# of views)   No comments

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The previously mentioned Oded Eran, Israel's representative at NATO headquarters, alluding to the Alliance's military assistance clause, was quoted by the same source as saying that what had been achieved was "a multilateral umbrella....We don't necessarily need article 5. The very fact we're members of such an organization gives...a sort of guarantee." [38]

By the end of 2006 Israel-NATO military integration had proceeded to the stage that:

The Jewish state was granted a partnership agreement with the Western military bloc more advanced than any accorded any other nation outside of Europe.

The nation's foreign minister publicly called for her country's inclusion in NATO's Partnership for Peace program, which has recently successfully groomed twelve other states for full membership in the bloc.

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Calls were being made in the West and Israel alike for the latter's full membership in NATO.

Extending Article 5 protection, hitherto limited to full member states, to Israel was being advocated with the inescapable implication that a coalition of most of the world's most powerful military nations, led by the self-designated world's sole military superpower, would retaliate against Iran if it responded to an Israeli first strike attack. As the U.S. stations hundreds of nuclear warheads at NATO bases in Europe, including in Iran's neighbor Turkey, invoking NATO's war clause could provoke a nuclear conflagration.

The nation was being promoted as the linchpin of a new Global NATO as now U.S. ambassador to the Alliance Ivo Daalder openly proclaimed it.

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In 2007 a Russian analyst warned of the consequences of the above developments:

"By admitting Israel Washington plans to use the alliance as an instrument for exerting pressure on Arab states and strengthening its position in the
Middle East....Washington has no plans to restrict the expansion only by admitting Israel. The alliance desires to attract India, Japan, Australia and Singapore....The continuation of NATO expansion is undoubtedly an alarming and dangerous idea that could split the world into groups of countries that oppose each other....According to the NATO Charter, an attack on a member state is considered as an aggression against all the members of the alliance [and] any conflict of Israel with its neighbours could become a source of a large-scale regional conflict that could turn into a global war." [39]

Undeterred by such grave considerations, even the threat of world war, Washington, Brussels and Tel Aviv continued their joint military collaboration.

In April of 2007 six NATO warships - from Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain
and Turkey - docked in the Israeli Red Sea port of Eilat "for joint drills with the navy's Red Sea Task Force." [40] NATO had in effect extended its comprehensive Mediterranean Sea naval surveillance and interdiction operation, Active Endeavor, to the Red Sea and would later establish a permanent presence in the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea.

"Six NATO frigates commanded by a Turkish admiral arrived...in Haifa for a joint drill with Israeli Navy missile boats.

"Israel has been shoring up ties recently with NATO as part of preparations for any future showdown with Iran." [41]

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Following the signing of the Individual Cooperation Program (ICP) the preceding November, in June NATO's Assistant Secretary General for Defence Policy and Planning John Colston visited Israel and invited the nation to provide troops for international Alliance missions. "We welcome very strongly the interest of a whole range of partner nations in participating in NATO-led operations around the world. There are currently seven to eight thousand troops from non-NATO nations participating in missions and further such contributions are always welcome." In Colson's words, troop and other contributions - presumably to Afghanistan in the first case - would "fill the ICP framework with practical cooperation."

The NATO official confirmed his organization's plans to "add Israel to NATO's 'operational capabilities concept' with the goal of creating better cooperation between the militaries...that would lay the groundwork for potential Israeli participation in NATO-led missions."

What such missions would entail was indicated by Colson's announcement that "We agreed to share lessons from Afghanistan with Israel to gain and benefit from one another." [42]

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Rick Rozoff has been involved in anti-war and anti-interventionist work in various capacities for forty years. He lives in Chicago, Illinois. Is the manager of the Stop NATO international email list at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/stopnato/

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